Their research on lasers has allowed us to develop tools used in industry and medicine. The Nobel prize in physics was awarded Tuesday to three researchers, including the French Gérard Mourou. At his side, the Canadian, Donna Strickland, and the American Arthur Ashkin.

Their discoveries have “revolutionized the field of laser physics” and design, “precision instruments and advanced which open up fields unexplored, research and a multitude of applications in industry and medicine,” said the royal Swedish Academy of sciences in Stockholm.

the Third woman awarded the Nobel prize of physics

Gérard Mourou, a graduate of the 74-year-old, and his student Donna Strickland, born in 1959, invented the technique of amplification of lasers, known as “Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA)”, which generates ultrashort pulses and very high power. In addition to their contribution to the physics of the vacuum or black holes, the work of the two scientists have a license to operate in millions of people in the world suffering from myopia or cataract.

Joined shortly after the announcement, Donna Strickland, professor at the University of Rochester in the United States, was honored by the Nobel prize of physics, only two women have received before it since its creation in 1901. “I thought that it would have been easier to honor women in physics, we are where we are today and I hope that with time, things will go faster”, she responded. Before it, only Marie Curie – who also received the Nobel in chemistry in 1911 -rewarded in 1903 with her husband Pierre, and Maria Goeppert Mayer in 1963 were decorated by the academy.

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For its part, the American Arthur Ashkin, 96 years old and now laureate the oldest Nobel in all categories, has been honoured for its work on the “optical tweezers” enabling “to manipulate viruses, bacteria and other living cells without damaging them”. “In many laboratories, the clamps laser are used to investigate biological processes, such as proteins, molecular motors, DNA, or the inner life of the cell”, explains the Academy.